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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 23758
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My nieces dog all of a sudden has limited use of his rear

Customer Question

My nieces dog all of a sudden has limited use of his rear legs. They are very wobbly
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: there is nothing there and the vet xrays didn't show anything. If he is laying down for a while it takes time for him to be able to use them
JA: What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Rocky and he is 5 months
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Rocky?
Customer: not really that I can think of. Since is a puppy he played rough
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 15 days ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 15 days ago.

When X-rays of the hips and spine are negative for pathology but ataxia ("drunken sailor") and paresis (weakness)/paralysis of the hind legs are seen, we need to consider disorders that don't show up in X-rays such as polyradiculoneuritis ("coonhound paralysis"), acute idiopathic (unknown cause) polyradiculoneuritis (identical disorder but no possible exposure to raccoons), tick paralysis, and the rarer botulism, myasthenia gravis, and protozoan polyneuritis. Referral to a specialist veterinary neurologist (please see here: should be considered as such a specialist is best equipped to perform the advanced testing needed to clarify why Rocky is symptomatic in this manner - cerebrospinal fluid analysis and MRI.

I mention polyradiculoneuritis first because it's the most common polyneuropathy involving the spinal cord in dogs. It's usually seen in older dogs than Rocky, however. It is characterized by his symptoms eventually progressing to his thoracic (front) limbs. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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